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Fabric Pests

Pest Directory

The thought of fabric pests keeps most homeowners busy cleaning out closets, vacuuming rugs and checking wool sweaters for holes - and that's a good thing. Keeping fabrics clean and protected is one of the best ways to prevent the two most common types of fabric pests - carpet beetles and clothes moths - from destroying your belongings.

Carpet beetles digest animal hairs, so they usually have a preference for items made of natural fibers, particularly wool and cashmere. They may also be found hiding under carpets where they can feed on hair and dead insects. Some carpet beetles have a broader palette, preferring feathers, silk, synthetic fibers, cotton, book bindings, and even some food materials.

Clothes moths are more difficult to detect because of their preference for dark places, but the trail they leave behind is much more noticeable. They are attracted to an animal protein in fabrics, and will leave large holes natural fiber materials if left undisturbed for long periods of time. What's interesting to note is that the moths themselves do not cause any damage, it's the larvae that hatch from the 100 to 300 eggs moths lay within the fibers that destroy your materials.

In the case of infestation of either pest, calling a professional exterminator is your best option to completely rid your home of these insects. Applying moth balls and throwing away damaged clothes, rugs or furniture may help, but a pest control professional is trained to uncover and eliminate these pests' favorite hiding places.

If you do find yourself with a fabric pest infestation, here are a few things you can do to contain the outbreak until your pest control help arrives:

  • Do not store clothing in boxes in the attic, garage or basement.
  • If you must store clothing in these areas, thoroughly seal the boxes, or use plastic containers with tight-fitting lids for extra protection.
  • Before storing wool or other natural fiber clothing items, be sure to clean them according to manufacturer's instructions. In closets, keep these items stored in individual plastic coverings.
  • Again, mothballs can help, but they leave behind a strong odor, so you'll need to have your items dry-cleaned before wearing.
  • Don't bring home used furniture that's been sitting outside for a long period of time. This is the most common way fabric pests are introduced to your home.

Terminix pest control professionals are specially trained to rid your home fabric pests, and are your best bet to wipe them out permanently.

Types of fabric pests

See below for the types of fabric pests that are most likely to invade your home:

  • Carpet Beetle
  • Webbing Clothes Moths

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